'On the edge of a humanitarian catastrophe': Turkish offensive begins

People in Kurdish northern Syria begin fleeing opening salvos of attack as fears of ground offensive mount

When the first shell thudded to earth, the people of Ras al-Ayn were ready. So long had the buildup been – and so heated the warnings – that those who fled the opening salvos of Turkey’s offensive in Kurdish northern Syria did so with little panic.

On tractors, horses, in cars and on motorbikes, the region’s newest refugees made their way from the border town that had been long pinpointed as the starting point of a Turkish invasion.

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